Lifestyle

The ‘smelly’ warning sign that could mean your cholesterol levels are extremely high

A leading cardiologist is warning of a “smelly” symptom that could indicate your cholesterol may be at very high levels.

While the health condition does not typically present symptoms, some bodily changes may appear.

If high cholesterol levels restrict the blood flow to your legs, one “smelly” sign may surface, warns Dr Sami Firoozi, Consultant Cardiologist at the Harley Street Clinic in the UK.

Cholesterol is not inherently bad as the body actually needs it to function.

However, consistently high cholesterol levels can be very serious, with some complications presenting sinister symptoms, as the Express reports.

The most obvious signs of high cholesterol follow on from peripheral arterial disease (PAD), whereby a build-up of fatty deposits made from cholesterol and other waste substances block the arteries and restrict blood supply to leg muscles.



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While high cholesterol does not typically present symptoms, some bodily changes may appear.

“Although PAD is not immediately life-threatening, the process of atherosclerosis that causes it can sometimes lead to serious and fatal problems, such as critical limb ischaemia which occurs if the blood flow to the legs becomes severely restricted,” warned Dr Firoozi.

One telltale sign of this complication is “smelly pus” on your toes and lower limbs.

Dr Firoozi explained: “The skin on your toes or lower limbs becomes cold and numb, turning red and then black, and/or beginning to swell and produce smelly pus, causing severe pain (gangrene).”

High cholesterol can also occasionally produce red flags earlier on in the process.

“In some cases, cholesterol can deposit around the eyes to form fatty, yellowish lumps,” Dr Firoozi added.

Though they are usually harmless, these deposits sometimes signal a serious underlying issue, the doc warned.

Given the associated risks, it is imperative to get tested for high cholesterol so steps can be taken to lower levels.

According to the Irish Heart Foundation, you should have a regular blood pressure and cholesterol check with your doctor.

For a healthy cholesterol and good heart health, the foundation says it’s important to:

  • Eat more fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods
  • Eat less fatty foods
  • Eat fish twice a week including oily fish
  • If you smoke, try to stop
  • Be a healthy weight
  • Be more physically active for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Learn to relax, de-stress – take time out for yourself.




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